Women, Families and the British Army, 1700–1880 Vol 2: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Women, Families and the British Army, 1700–1880 Vol 2

1st Edition

By Jennine Hurl-Eamon, Lynn MacKay


288 pages

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Hardback: 9781138766129
pub: 2020-04-07
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This series concentrates on women and the soldiers in the ranks whose lives they shared, assembling a wide body of evidence of their romantic entanglements and domestic concerns. The new military history of recent decades has demanded a broadening of the source base beyond elite accounts or those that concentrate solely on battlefield experiences. Armies did not operate in isolation, and men’s family ties influenced the course of events in a variety of ways. Campfollowing women and children occupied a liminal space in campaign life. Those who travelled "on the strength" of the army received rations in return for providing services such as laundry and nursing, but they could also be grouped with prostitutes and condemned as a ‘burden’ by officers. Parents, wives, and offspring left behind at home remained in soldiers’ thoughts, despite an army culture aimed at replacing kin with regimental ties. Soldiers’ families’ suffering, both on the march and back in Britain, attracted public attention at key points in this period as well.

This series provides, for the first time in one place, a wide body of texts relating to common soldiers’ personal lives: the women with whom they became involved, their children, and the families who cared for them. It brings hitherto unpublished material into print for the first time, and resurrects accounts that have not been in wide circulation since the nineteenth century. The collection combines the observations of officers, government officials and others with memoirs and letters from men in the ranks, and from the women themselves. It draws extensively on press accounts, especially in the nineteenth century. It also demonstrates the value of using literary depictions alongside the letters, diaries, memoirs and war office papers that form the traditional source base of military historians.

This second volume covers the period during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic War era

Table of Contents

Volume II: In the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic War era

Edited by Jennine Hurl-Eamon


Part 1. Experiences of Courtship and Marriage

1. David Fordyce, The new and complete British letter-writer; or, young secretary’s instructor in polite modern letter-writing. Containing near Four Hundred…(London, 1790), p. 85.

2. Selections from regimental Courts Martial, 31 July 1797; 15 June 1799; 23 December 1799; 26 May 1804; 10 Sept 1804; 15 Aug 1805, Grenadier Guards Archives, D04/020

Part 2. Economic Survival

3. Letters from Sir Hew Dalrymple to Lady Dalrymple, September to November 1793. NAM 1994-03-129 -20, and -41,

4. London Metropolitan Archives, Foundling Hospital records miscellaneous 1794.

5. Parliament of Great Britain, The Parliamentary Register; or, history of the proceedings and debates of the House of Commons (London, 1800), vol. 12, pp. 247-49.

6. Draft Act of 1801 by Sir Jerome Fitzpatrick, UKNA, WO 43/269

7. Society for the Bettering the Condition and increasing the Comforts of the Poor, The reports of the Society for the Bettering the Condition and increasing the Comforts of the Poor, (London, 1804), vol. 4, pp. 145-7.

8. Newspaper Accounts of Army Wives: ‘Soldiers Wives’, Leeds Mercury, 31 August 1811; ‘General Orders’, Caledonian Mercury, 8 May 1813; and ‘Forgery’, Caledonian Mercury, 15 August 1814.

9. Selections from regimental Courts Martial, 25 April 1814, Grenadier Guards Archives, D04/020

Part 3. Impact of War

3.1. Living in a War Zone

10. Anon., An Accurate and impartial narrative of the war, by an Officer of the Guards… (London, Cadell and Davies 3rd Edn, 1796), Vol 2, pp. 121-4.

11. Grenadier Guards Archives, B08/023 Brigade Standing Orders, dated Hd Qurs Corunna, 20th Octr 1808.

12. Henry Milburne, A Narrative of Circumstances Attending the Retreat of the British Army… (T. Egerton, 1809), pp. 27-28, 33-4.

13. Adam Neale, Letters from Portugal and Spain… (London: Richard Phillips, 1809), pp. 19, 22, 162, 293-5, 305.

14. Robert Ker Porter, Letters from Portugal and Spain, Written during the March of the British Troops under Sir John Moore…. (London: Longman & Co., 1809), pp. 200-201, 210-12, 265-7, 281.

15. Moyle Sherer, Recollections of the Peninsula (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme Brown and Green, 1824-2nd edn), pp. 74-75, 191-2.

16. George Wood, The Subaltern Officer: A Narrative, (London: Septimus Prowett, 1825), pp. 6-8, 67-8.

17. Thomas Staunton St. Clair, A Residence in the West Indies and America (London, Richard Bentley, 1834), Vol 2, pp. 252, 268-9, 271-3.

18. John Kincaid, Random Shots from a Rifleman (London, 1835), excerpt, pp. 28, 41-42, 65-70, 92-93.

19. George Landmann, Recollections of my Military Life by Colonel Landmann, Late of the 2Corps of Royal Engineers…in two volumes (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1854), Vol I, excerpt, pp. 3-7.

3.2. Separation and Loss

20. Lady Bessborough’s descriptions of embarkation at Margate in 1799 in letters to Lord Granville Leveson Gower. Lord Granville Leveson Gower, Private Correspondence, 1781-1821, ed. Castalia Countess Granville, Vol. I (London: John Murrray, 1916), pp. 261-62.

21. Grenadier Guards Archives, D04/020, regimental Court Martial of 8 June, 1803.

22. Charlotte Anne Eaton, Narrative of a Residence in Belgium during the Campaign of 1815: And of a Visit to the Field of Waterloo, by an Englishwoman (Murray, 1817), pp. 42-8, 244-45, 315-317.

23. John Scott, Paris Revisited in 1815, By Way of Brussels: including A walk over the field of battle at Waterloo, 2nd edn. (London: printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1816), pp. 18-19, 34, 121-22, 151-2, 204-8; 237-42; 324-6.

24. James Dawson Burn, The Autobiography of a Beggar Boy… 2nd Edn., (London: William Tweedie, 1856), pp. 3-13, 16, 18-19, 24-27.

Part 4. Sex Outside of Marriage

25. Trial of Susannah Brookes, 8 May 1799, pp. 273-4; Trial of Sarah Marchant, alias Hart, and Matthew Hart, 28 May 1800, pp. 354-355; Trial of James Williams, 14 July 1802, pp 387-388, Old Bailey Proceedings:

Part 5. First Person Accounts

5.1. Memoirs

26. Susan Sibbald, The Memoirs of Susan Sibbald (1783-1812), edited by her Great-Grandson Francis Paget Hett (New York, 1926) excerpt, pp. 260-62, 271-2, 287-9, 290, 294.

27. Susannah Cope, The Life & Extraordinary Adventures of Susanna Cope, the British Female Soldier, etc. (Banbury: Cheney, 1810).

28. Robert Grenville Wallace, Fifteen Years in India or, Sketches of a Soldier’s Life (London: 1823), pp. 51-6, 71-3, 80-1, 85-6, 101-4, 108-9, 115, 133-7, 167-9, 189-90, 224-5, 227-35, 251-4, 256, 261-2, 267-9, 270-1, 275, 280, 305-6, 314-15, 328-9, 375-6, 377-9, 403, 406, 439-47, 511, 512-515.

29. Joseph Donaldson, Scenes and Sketches of a Soldier’s Life in Ireland… (Edinburgh, 1826), pp. 27-30, 34-36, 39-76, 112-13, 141-44, 152-54, 162-69, 182-89, 191, 200-12.

30. John Shipp, Memoirs of the Extraordinary Military Career of John Shipp, Late a Lieutenant in his Majesty’s 87th Regiment, 2nd edn. (London: Thomas Tegg, 1843), pp. 1-17, 49-53, 59, 110-12, 129-135, 187, 209-10, 222-3, 287-9, 302, 315, 317-21, 322-4.

5.2. Letters

31. Letters written by Private James Morgan, 2nd Light Company, Coldstream Guards, to his family, National Army Museum, NAM. 2004-03-75-1 and -2.

Part 6. Fictional Representations

6.1. Novels, Plays, and Stories

32. Lucas Williams, ‘The Deserter’, in The Children’s friend, translated from the French of Mr. Berquin…In Six Volumes… (London, 1793), vol. IV: pp. 141-90.

33. George Walker, Cinthelia; or, a woman of ten thousand (London, 1797), Vol 3, pp. 198-212, 225-9; Vol. 4, pp. 10-11, 24-7, 33-4.

34. Anon., The Story of the Unfortunate But Heroic Highlander Related by Himself (Wellington, Houston and Son, 1809), pp. 5-18, 67-70.

35. John Shipp, The Military Bijou; or The Contents of a Soldier’s Knapsack: Being the Gleanings of Thirty-Three Years’ Active Service (London: Whittaker, Treacher, and Co., 1831), Vol 1, pp. vi-viii, 7-10, 22-23, 59-60, 64, 93-95, 100-105, 107-8, 115-6, 136-40, 152-65, 165-7, 216-18; Vol. 2, pp.7-9, 23-35, 59-60, 73-7, 82-8, 112-114, 123-5, 133-7, 142-6, 156-7, 172-5, 191-4.

6.2. Ballads and Songs

36. Gavin Turnbull, ‘The Recruit. a musical Interlude. As performed at the Theatre, Dumfries, January 1794’, in Poems, by Gavin Turnbull, Comedian (1794), pp. 37-47.

37. ‘The Rambling Soldier’, (London: J. Pitts, ca. 1819 and 1844).

38. ‘Hey for the Life of a Soldier’, (London: J. Pitts, ca. 1803-1815).

39. ‘The Jolly Soldier’, (London: J. Pitts, ca. 1803-1815).

40. ‘The Soldier’s Life’, (London: J. Pitts, ca. 1802-1819).

41. ‘The Soldier’s Cloak’. (Nottingham: Burbage and Stretton, 1797-1807).

42. ‘Lady’s Resolution to marry a Soldier’, (London: J. Davenport, ca. 1800-1812).

43. ‘The Old Maid’s Love for a Soldier’, (London: J. Pitts, 1802-1819).

44. ‘Paddy Carey’, (London: Evans, 1780-1812).

45. ‘The affectionate Soldier’, (London: J. Catnach, ca. 1813-1838).

46. Charles Dibdin, ‘The Soldier’s Adieu’, (London: J. Pitts, ca. 1802-1819).

47. Robert Burns, ‘The Soldiers’ return’, (Newcastle: Angus, ca. 1774-1825),

48. ‘The Soldier’s Wife’, (London: J. Pitts, ca. 1819-1844).

49. ‘The Tobacco Box’, (London: J. Pitts, ca. 1802-1819)

50. ‘Lamentation of the Sailors & Soldiers Wives for the loss of their Husbands’, (London: T. Batchelar, ca. 1807-1810).

About the Authors

Jennine Hurl-Eamon is Associate Professor of History at Trent University, Canada

Lynn MacKay is Professor of History at Brandon University, Canada

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General